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North Muskegon girls soccer season ends with hard-fought loss in state semis (photos, video)

Norse (16-4-1) make run at defending Division 4 state title, but fall to tough Kalamazoo Christian squad, 1-0.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

COMSTOCK PARK — North Muskegon’s girls soccer team managed high expectations all season as a defending Division 4 state champion.

Tuesday night, the Norse had to deal with sweltering heat and a stingy Kalamazoo Christian nemesis.

North Muskegon lost a hard-fought state semifinal to Kalamazoo Christian, 1-0, at Comstock Park’s Panther Stadium.

The match was postponed an hour because the heat index on the artificial surface was 109 degrees, according to Norse coach Caleb Parnin. Air temperature at the scheduled game time was 92 degrees. By the time the contest began shortly after 8 p.m., the sun had started to dip behind the tree line and shade covered most of the playing surface.

The lone goal of the match came with about 11 minutes left in the first half, when Kalamazoo Christian junior Taylor Leonard lofted a shot from the edge of the 18-yard box just under the crossbar. The tally was assisted by Comets freshman Jordyn Bonnema.

Photos courtesy of Rhonda Kinahan Photography

Kalamazoo Christian finished with 10 shots on goal compared to three for North Muskegon, which applied some serious pressure down the stretch but could not net the equalizer.

North Muskegon sophomore Emma Lamiman made several terrific saves and the defense in front of her helped the Norse stay within striking distance throughout the contest. Lamiman finished with nine stops, while Kalamazoo Christian sophomore Elizabeth Netz made three saves.

North Muskegon closes the season with a 16-4-1 record. The Norse captured West Michigan Conference, district and regional championships, and they were ranked No. 4 in Division 4.

Seventh-ranked Kalamazoo Christian (19-5) advances to Friday’s 1 p.m. state finals at Michigan State University’s DeMartin Soccer Complex, where the Comets will face Royal Oak Shrine, a 2-1 overtime winner over Bad Axe.

Kalamazoo Christian also defeated North Muskegon in state semifinals at Comstock Park in 2018 (shootout) and 2019 (1-0 final).

Here are highlights and reaction from North Muskegon after Tuesday night’s match:

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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